Effects of RGMc on BMP2 and BMP6-mediated Gene Expression in Hep3B Liver Cells
ABSTRACT: Mutations in repulsive guidance molecule c (RGMc) / hemojuvelin (HJV) cause juvenile hemochromatosis, an aggravated iron overload disorder that presents early in life. Patients with juvenile hemochromatosis, and RGMc knockout mice, have diminished expression of the key iron-regulatory peptide, hepcidin. This suggests that RGMc plays a critical role in the regulation of iron homeostasis; however the mechanisms of RGMc actions are unknown. Recent studies have shown that RGMc directly binds to the growth factors, bone morphogenetic protein 2 and 6 (BMP2 and BMP6), and it is possible that this interaction regulates aspects of iron metabolism. We used microarrays to examine the effects of RGMc on BMP2- and BMP6-mediated gene expression. Overall design: In our experimental model we treated Hep3B liver cells that had been serum starved for 16 hours as follows: (1) un-treated, (2) BMP2, (3) BMP2 + 10-fold molar excess of Noggin (a potent BMP2 inhibitor), (4) BMP2 + 20-fold molar excess of RGMc, (5) BMP6, (6) BMP6 + 10-fold molar excess of Noggin, (7) BMP6 + 20-fold molar excess of RGMc. Binding was allowed to proceed for BMP and Noggin or RGMc for 3 hr at 20°C prior to treatment of Hep3B cells. Treatment time was 4 hr at which cells were collected for RNA isolation.
INSTRUMENT(S): [HuGene-1_0-st] Affymetrix Human Gene 1.0 ST Array [transcript (gene) version]
Project description:Mutations in repulsive guidance molecule c (RGMc) / hemojuvelin (HJV) cause juvenile hemochromatosis, an aggravated iron overload disorder that presents early in life. Patients with juvenile hemochromatosis, and RGMc knockout mice, have diminished expression of the key iron-regulatory peptide, hepcidin. This suggests that RGMc plays a critical role in the regulation of iron homeostasis; however the mechanisms of RGMc actions are unknown. Recent studies have shown that RGMc directly binds to the growth factors, bone morphogenetic protein 2 and 6 (BMP2 and BMP6), and it is possible that this interaction regulates aspects of iron metabolism. We used microarrays to examine the effects of RGMc on BMP2- and BMP6-mediated gene expression. In our experimental model we treated Hep3B liver cells that had been serum starved for 16 hours as follows: (1) un-treated, (2) BMP2, (3) BMP2 + 10-fold molar excess of Noggin (a potent BMP2 inhibitor), (4) BMP2 + 20-fold molar excess of RGMc, (5) BMP6, (6) BMP6 + 10-fold molar excess of Noggin, (7) BMP6 + 20-fold molar excess of RGMc. Binding was allowed to proceed for BMP and Noggin or RGMc for 3 hr at 20°C prior to treatment of Hep3B cells. Treatment time was 4 hr at which cells were collected for RNA isolation.
Project description:Inactivating mutations in hemojuvelin/repulsive guidance molecule c (HJV/RGMc) cause juvenile hemochromatosis (JH), a rapidly progressive iron overload disorder in which expression of hepcidin, a key liver-derived iron-regulatory hormone, is severely diminished. Several growth factors in the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family, including BMP2 and BMP6, can stimulate production of hepcidin, a biological effect that may be modified by RGMc. Here we demonstrate that soluble RGMc proteins are potent BMP inhibitors. We find that 50- and 40-kDa RGMc isoforms, when added to cells as highly purified IgG Fc fusion proteins, are able to block the acute effects of both BMP2 and BMP6 at the levels of Smad induction and gene activation, and thus represent a potentially unique class of broad-spectrum BMP antagonists. Whole transcript microarray analysis revealed that BMP2 and BMP6 each stimulated expression of a nearly identical cohort of approximately 40 mRNAs in Hep3B cells and demonstrated that 40-kDa RGMc was an effective inhibitor of both growth factors, although its potency was less than that of the known BMP2-selective antagonist, Noggin. We additionally show that JH-linked RGMc mutant proteins that retain the ability to bind BMPs are also able to function as BMP inhibitors, and like the wild type soluble RGMc species, can block BMP-activated hepcidin gene expression. The latter results raise the question of whether disease severity in JH will vary depending on the ability of a given mutant RGMc protein to interact with BMPs.
Project description:Juvenile hemochromatosis is an iron-overload disorder caused by mutations in the genes encoding the major iron regulatory hormone hepcidin (HAMP) and hemojuvelin (HFE2). We have previously shown that hemojuvelin is a co-receptor for bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) and that BMP signals regulate hepcidin expression and iron metabolism. However, the endogenous BMP regulator(s) of hepcidin in vivo is unknown. Here we show that compared with soluble hemojuvelin (HJV.Fc), the homologous DRAGON.Fc is a more potent inhibitor of BMP2 or BMP4 but a less potent inhibitor of BMP6 in vitro. In vivo, HJV.Fc or a neutralizing antibody to BMP6 inhibits hepcidin expression and increases serum iron, whereas DRAGON.Fc has no effect. Notably, Bmp6-null mice have a phenotype resembling hereditary hemochromatosis, with reduced hepcidin expression and tissue iron overload. Finally, we demonstrate a physical interaction between HJV.Fc and BMP6, and we show that BMP6 increases hepcidin expression and reduces serum iron in mice. These data support a key role for BMP6 as a ligand for hemojuvelin and an endogenous regulator of hepcidin expression and iron metabolism in vivo.
Project description:Abnormal hepcidin regulation is central to the pathogenesis of HFE hemochromatosis. Hepatic bone morphogenetic protein 6 (BMP6)-SMAD signaling is a main regulatory mechanism controlling hepcidin expression, and this pathway was recently shown to be impaired in Hfe knockout (Hfe(-/-)) mice. To more definitively determine whether HFE regulates hepcidin expression through an interaction with the BMP6-SMAD signaling pathway, we investigated whether hepatic Hfe overexpression activates the BMP6-SMAD pathway to induce hepcidin expression. We then investigated whether excess exogenous BMP6 administration overcomes the BMP6-SMAD signaling impairment and ameliorates hemochromatosis in Hfe(-/-) mice.The BMP6-SMAD pathway and the effects of neutralizing BMP6 antibody were examined in Hfe transgenic mice (Hfe Tg) compared with wild-type (WT) mice. Hfe(-/-) and WT mice were treated with exogenous BMP6 and analyzed for hepcidin expression and iron parameters.Hfe Tg mice exhibited hepcidin excess and iron deficiency anemia. Hfe Tg mice also exhibited increased hepatic BMP6-SMAD target gene expression compared with WT mice, whereas anti-BMP6 antibody administration to Hfe Tg mice improved the hepcidin excess and iron deficiency. In Hfe(-/-) mice, supraphysiologic doses of exogenous BMP6 improved hepcidin deficiency, reduced serum iron, and redistributed tissue iron to appropriate storage sites.HFE interacts with the BMP6-SMAD signaling pathway to regulate hepcidin expression, but HFE is not necessary for hepcidin induction by BMP6. Exogenous BMP6 treatment in mice compensates for the molecular defect underlying Hfe hemochromatosis, and BMP6-like agonists may have a role as an alternative therapeutic strategy for this disease.
Project description:The bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-SMAD signaling pathway is a key transcriptional regulator of hepcidin in response to tissue iron stores, serum iron, erythropoietic drive and inflammation to increase the iron supply when needed for erythropoiesis, but to prevent the toxicity of iron excess. Recently, BMP2 was reported to play a non-redundant role in hepcidin regulation in addition to BMP6. Here, we used a newly validated BMP2 ELISA assay and mice with a global or endothelial conditional knockout (CKO) of Bmp2 or Bmp6 to examine how BMP2 is regulated and functionally contributes to hepcidin regulation by its major stimuli. Erythropoietin (EPO) did not influence BMP2 expression in control mice, and still suppressed hepcidin in Bmp2 CKO mice. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) reduced BMP2 expression in control mice, but still induced hepcidin in Bmp2 CKO mice. Chronic dietary iron loading that increased liver iron induced BMP2 expression, whereas acute oral iron gavage that increased serum iron without influencing liver iron did not impact BMP2. However, hepcidin was still induced by both iron loading methods in Bmp2 CKO mice, although the degree of hepcidin induction was blunted relative to control mice. Conversely, acute oral iron gavage failed to induce hepcidin in Bmp6 -/- or CKO mice. Thus, BMP2 has at least a partially redundant role in hepcidin regulation by serum iron, tissue iron, inflammation and erythropoietic drive. In contrast, BMP6 is absolutely required for hepcidin regulation by serum iron.
Project description:Hepcidin is a key iron regulatory hormone that controls expression of the iron exporter ferroportin to increase the iron supply when needed to support erythropoiesis and other essential functions, but to prevent the toxicity of iron excess. The bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-SMAD signaling pathway, through the ligand BMP6 and the co-receptor hemojuvelin, is a central regulator of hepcidin transcription in the liver in response to iron. Here, we show that dietary iron loading has a residual ability to induce Smad signaling and hepcidin expression in Bmp6-/- mice, effects that are blocked by a neutralizing BMP2/4 antibody. Moreover, BMP2/4 antibody inhibits hepcidin expression and induces iron loading in wildtype mice, whereas a BMP4 antibody has no effect. Bmp2 mRNA is predominantly expressed in endothelial cells of the liver, where its baseline expression is higher, but its induction by iron is less robust than Bmp6. Mice with a conditional ablation of Bmp2 in endothelial cells exhibit hepcidin deficiency, serum iron overload, and tissue iron loading in liver, pancreas and heart, with reduced spleen iron. Together, these data demonstrate that in addition to BMP6, endothelial cell BMP2 has a non-redundant role in hepcidin regulation by iron.
Project description:Hereditary hemochromatosis is an iron-overload disorder resulting from mutations in proteins presumed to be involved in the maintenance of iron homeostasis. Mutations in hemojuvelin (HJV) cause severe, early-onset juvenile hemochromatosis. The normal function of HJV is unknown. Juvenile hemochromatosis patients have decreased urinary levels of hepcidin, a peptide hormone that binds to the cellular iron exporter ferroportin, causing its internalization and degradation. We have disrupted the murine Hjv gene and shown that Hjv-/- mice have markedly increased iron deposition in liver, pancreas, and heart but decreased iron levels in tissue macrophages. Hepcidin mRNA expression was decreased in Hjv-/- mice. Accordingly, ferroportin expression detected by immunohistochemistry was markedly increased in both intestinal epithelial cells and macrophages. We propose that excess, unregulated ferroportin activity in these cell types leads to the increased intestinal iron absorption and plasma iron levels characteristic of the juvenile hemochromatosis phenotype.
Project description:Hepcidin negatively regulates systemic iron homeostasis in response to inflammation and elevated serum iron. Conversely, hepcidin expression is diminished in response to hypoxia, oxidative stress, and increased erythropoietic demand, though the molecular intermediates involved are incompletely understood. To address this, we have investigated hypoxic hepcidin regulation in HuH7 hepatoma cells either cultured alone or cocultured with activated THP-1 macrophages. HuH7 hepcidin mRNA expression was determined using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR). Hepcidin promoter activity was measured using luciferase reporter constructs containing a 0.9 kb fragment of the wild-type human hepcidin promoter, and constructs containing mutations in bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)/SMAD4, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP), and E-box-responsive elements. Hepatic expression of bone morphogenetic proteins BMP2 and BMP6 and the BMP inhibitor noggin was determined using Q-PCR, and the protein expression of hemojuvelin (HJV), pSMAD 1/5/8, and SMAD4 was determined by western blotting. Following exposure to hypoxia or H(2)O(2), hepcidin mRNA expression and promoter activity increased in HuH7 cells monocultures but were decreased in HuH7 cells cocultured with THP-1 macrophages. This repression was attenuated by mutation of the BMP/SMAD4-response element, suggesting that modulation of SMAD signaling mediated the response to hypoxia. No changes in hepatocyte BMP2, BMP6 or noggin mRNA, or protein expression of HJV or pSMAD 1/5/8 were detected. However, treatment with hypoxia caused a marked decrease in nuclear and cytosolic SMAD4 protein and SMAD4 mRNA expression in cocultured HuH7 cells. Together these data indicate that hypoxia represses hepcidin expression through inhibition of BMP/SMAD signaling.
Project description:Microvascular endothelial cells (EC) display a high degree of phenotypic and functional heterogeneity among different organs. Organ-specific EC control their tissue microenvironment by angiocrine factors in health and disease. Liver sinusoidal EC (LSEC) are uniquely differentiated to fulfil important organ-specific functions in development, under homeostatic conditions, and in regeneration and liver pathology. Recently, Bmp2 has been identified by us as an organ-specific angiokine derived from LSEC. To study angiocrine Bmp2 signaling in the liver, we conditionally deleted Bmp2 in LSEC using EC subtype-specific Stab2-Cre mice. Genetic inactivation of hepatic angiocrine Bmp2 signaling in Stab2-Cre;Bmp2fl/fl (Bmp2LSECKO) mice caused massive iron overload in the liver, and increased serum iron levels and iron deposition in several organs similar to classic hereditary hemochromatosis. Iron overload was mediated by decreased hepatic expression of hepcidin, a key regulator of iron homeostasis. Thus, angiocrine Bmp2 signaling within the hepatic vascular niche represents a constitutive pathway indispensable for iron homeostasis in vivo that is non-redundant with Bmp6. Notably, we demonstrate that organ-specific angiocrine signaling is essential not only for the homeostasis of the respective organ, but also for the homeostasis of the whole organism. Overall design: Primary hepatocytes were isolated from three different mice and stimulated with BMP2 for 24 hours.
Project description:Repulsive guidance molecules (RGMs) control crucial processes including cell motility, adhesion, immune-cell regulation and systemic iron metabolism. RGMs signal via the neogenin (NEO1) and the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) pathways. Here, we report crystal structures of the N-terminal domains of all human RGM family members in complex with the BMP ligand BMP2, revealing a new protein fold and a conserved BMP-binding mode. Our structural and functional data suggest a pH-linked mechanism for RGM-activated BMP signaling and offer a rationale for RGM mutations causing juvenile hemochromatosis. We also determined the crystal structure of the ternary BMP2-RGM-NEO1 complex, which, along with solution scattering and live-cell super-resolution fluorescence microscopy, indicates BMP-induced clustering of the RGM-NEO1 complex. Our results show how RGM acts as the central hub that links BMP and NEO1 and physically connects these fundamental signaling pathways.